Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on February 10, 2022
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Know What It’s For

Be sure you understand the goal of your medication. Find out how it works in your body and what you can expect it to do for your condition.

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Ask About Side Effects

Your doctor can tell you what’s most common and what could be a sign of a problem. They can also give you guidance on how to manage side effects as they crop up.

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Find Out How Often You Take It

Will you need to have it with you at work or school? How many doses do you need when you go on a trip? How often will you need to refill it? Figure out how your medication will fit into your schedule.

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Confirm What It Costs

If you have health insurance, call to see what’s covered and what isn’t. They can tell you what the out-of-pocket cost for your medication will be. If you can’t afford your medication, tell your doctor so they can tell you if there’s a less expensive option.

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Report Your Other Meds

Before you start a new drug, your doctor needs to know all the medications and supplements you already take to be sure the overlap doesn’t cause harm or keep your medication from working the way it should.

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Take It Correctly

Your medication can’t do what it’s supposed to if you don’t take it the way you should, and it may even lead to more frequent doctor visits or cause other problems. Go over the directions with your doctor, and be sure you’re up to speed on dos and don’ts.

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Be Open With Your Doctor

Stay in communication with your doctor and pharmacist about your medications. Let them know about any changes or side effects. Ask questions and get tips for how to best manage your meds.

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Cleveland Clinic: “Questions to Ask Your Doctor.” “Getting the Most Out of Your Doctor Appointment.”

FDA: “Drug Interactions: What You Should Know.”

American Heart Association: “Medication Adherence -- Taking Your Meds as Directed.”